Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Gender-Neutral Bible to Make Debut in April

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
The International Bible Society (IBS) and Zondervan announced plans to publish a gender-neutral edition of the Bible called Today's New International Version (TNIV). According to a Zondervan press release, "Building on the classic New International Version (NIV), the TNIV is part of both organizations' ongoing mission to offer updated translations that reflect clarity in modern language and uncompromising accuracy. The best-selling NIV will continue to be published in its current form without change." The translation reflects the language changes that are occurring in everyday English, according to Dr. Ronald Youngblood, chair of the IBS board of directors and a member of the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT), the group that developed the TNIV. The Atlanta Journal Constitution noted that the idea of a gender neutral Bible has brought past criticism from conservatives. In 1997, "leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest U.S. Protestant denomination, criticized the language change, as did James Dobson of the influential Focus on the Family radio broadcast." (From Religion Today)

Criticism is indeed justified! Gender neutrality is not the essence of our modern language, no matter what some pressure groups say. If anything, gender neutrality obscures clarity and accuracy. And for that matter, since when has the NIV been a ÒclassicÓ version? A twenty-five year circulation does not make it a classic.

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